Catheter ablation is a non-surgical technique used to pinpoint and interrupt specific abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). State-of-the-art mapping equipment is used to generate 3-D images of the heart’s chambers to locate the area causing the arrhythmia. This helps physicians to determine if catheter ablation is a treatment option. In many cases, this option is preferable to medications with side effects.
The ablation is performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist. A thin plastic tube—called a catheter—with an electrode tip is inserted into a blood vessel in your arm, groin, or neck. Using high-resolution fluoroscopic (X-ray) video and film equipment, the catheter is guided through to the heart. The electrode delivers energy through the catheter to create a lesion or scar to destroy (ablate) the location of the electrical cells of the heart that are causing the arrhythmia. This procedure is performed in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory, with local anesthesia. An IV (intravenous line) into your arm or hand will provide you with medication to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Patient Guides: Preparing for Cardiac and Peripheral Catheterization
MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute specializes in minimally invasive heart procedures. With these innovative techniques, patients benefit from fewer complications, less scarring, greater comfort and faster recoveries. Distinguished as a leading heart and vascular institute.
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